Depression Symptoms and Treatment
If you or a loved one is experiencing signs and symptoms of depression, it’s important to get help. It’s a serious illness that requires medical treatment, but it’s also treatable with medication, therapy and lifestyle changes.
Symptoms of depression vary among people and can range from mild to severe. They include sadness, irritability, clinginess, poor sleep, appetite, fatigue and loss of interest in most activities. It’s important to talk to your doctor if you have these symptoms for more than two weeks.
You are more likely to develop depression if you have a family history of depression. This means that you or your parents, siblings, grandparents or great-grandparents have had depression at some time in their life. You may also be more at risk if you’ve suffered a traumatic event, such as a loss of a loved one.
It’s also more common if you have a lot of stress in your life. This can be due to a work situation, a relationship breakdown or another stressful event. Often, depression is triggered by a series of events that combine to create a downward spiral of feeling low and losing interest in normal activities.
Your healthcare professional will look at your health and try to figure out if you have another condition that could cause depression-like symptoms, such as a thyroid problem or a vitamin deficiency. They’ll do a physical exam and ask about your symptoms, and may run lab tests. If they think there’s a problem, they’ll refer you to a specialized mental health professional for evaluation and treatment.
Then your therapist will start you on psychotherapy, which involves talking with a mental health professional about your emotions and thoughts. This can be done in person or online. Sometimes, just a few sessions will help you feel better, but sometimes you’ll need longer-term therapy.
When you’re in therapy, your therapist will help you identify the negative feelings and thoughts that are contributing to your depression. They will also teach you healthy ways to handle them and manage them.
Medication is a common part of treatment for depression, and it can be used to change the way your brain chemistry works. These medications are called antidepressants.
They work by changing the way your brain metabolizes chemicals, which can lead to less severe symptoms. Some of these medications can have side effects, so talk with your doctor about which ones are right for you.
Getting help for depression isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. It’s a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, and most of them get better with treatment.
It’s more common for women to have depression than men, but it can affect anyone. Some people experience depression after a traumatic event, while others have it without any apparent reason.
Most people with depression feel better when they take a medication and do some therapy. Those who have it for a long time, or who have very severe depression, may need more aggressive treatments.